By Sierra Morris, Staff Writer
If you weren’t lucky enough to have secure a job post graduation or you're looking for a fresh start, we come bearing good news. Hiring season peaks during the Fall. Below we've come list ways you can use your downtime to wow employers.
The Basics and Then Some
First, update your resume.
Everytime I learn a new skill or take on a new task at work, I add it to my resume. I also reread it for grammar and spelling errors, remove unnecessary information, and make sure my objective is a reflection of a career field I can really see myself working in.
It’s also important to use your social media pages for networking and recruitment purposes. You can give your Facebook page a face-lift, or create an entirely new page dedicated to your work persona. It’s important that your social media pages are a representation of your personal brand so that companies will want to have you promote their corporate brand. I’m a teacher, and when I can, I try to add pictures of myself with my students (faces not shown) to my LinkedIn so employers can see me working. I also make sure I mention work I do that doesn’t involve a paycheck.
Give Back and Win Big
I genuinely love teaching and I often find myself doing it for free when I volunteer to teach the children at my church. I also volunteer at my old internship site from time-to-time. Whether you’re volunteering as a tutor, helping build houses, picking up trash, or helping recruit blood donors, companies that’s going to hire you is going to take your volunteer work into consideration. Pick something you love to do and then find a place that will allow you to come in for a few hours whenever you’re available. Volunteering is a great way to get your foot-in-the-door with a company you’d like to work for in the future.
It’s also an excellent way to make connections and show that you have a passion for something, not that you're just in it for the money.
One thing I wish I would’ve done while I waited to hear from prospective employers: Organize my belongings.
Now I have to fit it into my schedule and that doesn’t always work out the way I would like it to.
Getting rid of old clothes, books, papers, toys (yes, toys) and anything else you’re not using is an excellent way to prepare your space (and ultimately your mind) for any job that’s to come your way. If you won't use it and it’s in good condition, donate or sell it. I’m a fan of donating because selling requires a lot of time and effort, but there have been times that I’ve decided to sell things online and it worked out in my favor.
I also have a habit of holding on to paper - bills, receipts, schoolwork, greeting cards - those create so much clutter. Take a day to turn on some background noise and fire up the shredder. And when you're finished, taking out the trash feels great.
Perfect the Look
Getting rid of the old, allows you to make space for a legitimate business/business casual wardrobe.
Yes, I said business/business casual because you don't need to go out and buy a three piece suit to impress. But it's important to keep in mind that first impressions do matter. Take this time to learn the importance of dry cleaning, tailoring, and finding clothes that flatter your body type. Once you’ve found business wear that you like and that fits, you’ll feel more confident going into your interview, and you're future employer will be take notice.
My last piece of advice is to recognize the importance of taking a risk during this down time.
In other words, apply for a job you don’t think you’re qualified for or ask someone who seems completely out of reach to coffee. You never know who you’ll encounter or what you’ll learn and how it can impact your future career.
I took the first job that was presented to me before I graduated, without even thinking about it. I was asked to be a preschool teaching assistant and said "okay" because it was easier than trying to look for a job while I was interning as a social worker. I've always liked kids and had been babysitting off and on, but that was different from being in a classroom. In the end, I learned I really love being with children in an educational setting and I also got a chance to explore and experiment with different teaching methods. I've been able to take what I learned at that job and apply it to the teaching positions I've had since then.
The sun, holidays, vacations and fireflies can make summer feel like it will (and should) go on forever, but those months will slip by before the grill has had time to cool off and you'll be glad you made good use of your time.
Before You Go
If you absolutely must work this summer, Forbes has a list of jobs you can start sooner rather than later that you can check out here.